From the Inside Flap
"The irony of it all is that Abraham Lincoln loved a good mystery."
from the Introduction
April 14, 1865. The President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, is seated in the state box at Fords Theatre enjoying a performance of Our American Cousin when he is shot in the back of the head by John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln dies hours later in a house across the street. Booth manages to escape but is shot to death twelve days later by a cavalry sergeant. By conventional account, the story of Lincolns assassination is fairly cut and dry. But the truth is far more complex and mysterious than has ever been revealeduntil now.
Written by Leonard Guttridge and Ray Neff, Dark Union reveals for the first time how the plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln was woven through an even more complex scheme to pay for and profit from the Union war effort by trading in Confederate cottona scheme approved by Lincoln himself.
Based largely on previously unseen, long-lost archival materialwhich scholars will have access to on publication of this book at Indiana State Universitys Cunningham Memorial LibraryDark Union reveals how, in order to head off national bankruptcy and finance the Union war effort, Lincoln sanctioned semi-clandestine trade deals between Northern investors and owners of Southern cotton. But in early 1865, Lincoln began to vacillate in regards to trading with the enemy, whichalong with the imminent end of the hostilitiesthreatened the huge profits at stake. Simultaneously, the extremists of Lincolns party were enraged by his forgiving attitude towards the Southand they plotted to remove him from office. These elements merged into an unholy alliance, with holdouts from the crumbling Confederacy scheming to kidnap Lincoln . . . and an unstable actor named John Wilkes Booth with connections on every side taking matters into his own hands.
The remarkable source material ranges from a rogues gallery of unpublished photos to deciphered intelligence locked within a nineteenth century military tome to the tape-recorded memories of a centenarian whose enterprising fatherunmentioned by any history bookplayed a pivotal role. It also provides additional evidence that John Wilkes Booth was, as some have asserted, not killed soon after the assassination; rather, he escaped and fled to India.
The most eye-opening account of Lincolns assassination ever to be published, Dark Union takes a new, fascinating look at a real-life conspiracy as devious and ingenious as the most cleverly written mystery novel.
About the Author
Historian LEONARD F. GUTTRIDGE
is the critically acclaimed author of Ghosts of Cape Sabine: The Harrowing True Story of the Greely Expedition; Icebound: The Jeannette Expedition’s Quest for the North Pole; Mutiny: A History of Naval Insurrection; and The Commodores.
Dr. RAY A. NEFF is an Emeritus Professor at Indiana State University and an authority on the Civil War era. He has published several books, is the owner of six patents, and served in the Department of Health and Safety for seventeen years.